How to Control Your Experience (& Improve Your Health) Through Perception
[An excerpt from the book, Buoyant]
In his cellular biology lab, one of my favourite research scientists—Dr. Bruce Lipton—uncovered the mysterious fact that individual muscle cells actually react and change based on their perception of their environment, and that the “real” environment was far less influential on outcomes. Further research led him to discover that the same is true for human beings as a whole: we react and change based on our perceptions of, or beliefs about, our environment, and not our environment as it really is. Dr. Lipton suggests that virtually every health problem originates from a wrong belief—and this certainly includes problems with our emotional health. And, with this in mind, the odds of attaining effortless wellbeing without changing many of your perceptions is close to impossible, so let’s get started!
Firstly, consider the part that fear plays in our lack of wellbeing and how it directly affects the outcome of our physical experience by driving unhelpful behaviours. And whilst some of our fears are deeply rooted and need more than a simple shift in perspective, there are many that we CAN work on and, in doing so, take great strides forward toward unlocking our inherent state of bliss.
I’ve always loved the F.E.A.R. acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real—and it conveys a simple understanding of the part that perception plays in our lives. Indeed, if we can cast out fear and “false evidence”, we can live from an empowered and constructive place, effortlessly. This is buoyancy at it’s best.
“Truth exists regardless of whether or not you believe it, while a belief only exists for as long as you believe in it.”
—Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.
I think this stuff is pretty basic, but let’s look for a moment at how we can control our experience through perception…
Every event that occurs has an almost infinite variety of possible perceptions.
Or, at the very least, it has more than one—no matter how bad it seems, there’s always another, more helpful, way to look at things.
And since perception leads to feelings, and feelings lead to outcomes, life really is like one of those “pick a path” books, so choose your adventure wisely!
For example, if a large apple falls from a tree and lands on the grass in front of you, you might perceive this as…
- Scary! Nature is trying to kill me by dropping large objects on my head!
- Neutral. It’s an apple—who cares?
- Interesting. I wonder why that apple dropped—is there a bird up there trying to get a meal?
- Awesome! A fresh apple for free, and I didn’t even have to climb the tree to get it!
As you can easily see, your experience might range anywhere from disturbing right through to ecstatic happiness, depending entirely on the perception of that event. As I discuss numerous times and in numerous ways throughout my books and blog posts, events only have the meaning we give them, and that meaning means EVERYTHING in terms of our experience.
Reframe everything to get an ever-improving experience.
So if you want to reframe your experience, you need to take a deep-dive into the events and memories that make up your past and that influence your present.
What areas of your life are producing negative feelings? What events are at the base of those areas of your life, and how could you reframe (choose a new perception of) those events to produce a more positive emotional experience of that memory?
And don’t stop there. Our memories are just one area we can create a shift in our experience through reframing our perceptions. Every day provides a myriad of opportunities to inch closer to bliss. Every time you feel an unpleasant emotion, consider what event may be causing it and ask yourself this one very powerful question:
“How could I reframe this event to produce a more positive perspective?”
And then, before you know it, your life is an almost endless string of unbroken moments of wellbeing. How does it get any better than that?!
For more information about changing the experience of your life, check out my new book, Buoyant.